HOUSING


What Should I Expect When I Arrive?

The school will pick you up at the airport. Tunis Airport is small and easily manageable. Be sure to email the school your arrival times.
If you will be arriving in August, expect it to be hot. In July and August, you can expect daily temperatures to be 100 degrees or hotter. It will be dusty and most plants will be dormant. Don't worry! It starts cooling down in September.
A driver from the school will take you to your house (description below). You will be given some dinars as part of your settling in package. There will be some very basic things in your home (cheese, water, crackers).
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Science Teacher's House

School Provided Housing

Overseas hires will be provided with housing. This housing varies, but generally, single teachers will get a 2 bedroom apartment and families will get a three bedroom town house style home. Some of the houses have gardens (you must maintain the garden). The school will provide you with some basic furniture for your house. Most houses are located in Carthage or La Marsa and are about a 10 minute drive away from the school.
The school pays for your utilities (except phone). You just need to make sure you bring your bills to the Business Office so they can get paid.
The school will provide you with basic furniture for your bedrooms, living room and dining room.

Water

Water is safe to drink in Tunis and most parts of Tunisia. Many people prefer to drink bottled water because it tastes better (water here can have a fair amount of bleach in it). You should buy bottled water in your first days/weeks here so your body can slowly adjust to the mineral content in the tap water. A good water filter also does a lot to make water taste better. Bring replacement filters; the US brands are not always available here. Carrefour sometimes has filters.

Bathrooms

Pretty standard here. Generally good facilities in developed and touristy areas. Some rural places can have very basic facilities. There is a little hose next to toilets to clean yourself off after taking care of business. It is a good idea to bring toilet paper with you when you are traveling.

Furniture

The school provides some basic furniture including basic furniture in bedrooms, dining room, living room, and office. The school also provides a washing machine. A complete list of furniture is here:
. Your furniture will look something like this:

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Welcome Kit

This will be in your home when you arrive and includes one item per person upon moving in. A single teacher will receive one fork, one knife, one spoon, plate, etc. A family of three will receive three of each utensil or plate. Do not expect a "set for 8" in your kitchen cabinets.

Item Quantity
Pillows 1 set per bed
Pillow cases 1 set per bed
Fitted and flat sheets 1 set per bed
Hand towels 1 set per house
Bath towels 1 set per house
Drinking glasses 1 set per house
Mugs 1 set per house
Dinner plates1 set per house
Utensils 1 set per house
Spatula 1
Frying pan 1
Small pot 1
Large pot 1
Colander 1
Shower curtain 1
Shower curtain rings 1 set

220v "French-style" Plugs

Make sure to purchase devices that can operate on 220 volts. Power is reliable here. During storms, it is fairly common to lose power for a short amount of time. Click HERE for more about Tunisian power, plugs and sockets

Washing Clothes

Tunisia generally has European style front-loading clothes washers. They are effective, energy-efficient but slow. They are connected only to cold water, and heat water electrically during use. They are (almost always) small capacity front-loader types, and rotate clothes alternately clockwise and counterclockwise, with pauses to rest. Most washing machines will be located in the bathroom or kitchen, but some are located outdoors, which is fairly typical in Tunisia.

Powered Clothes Dryers are somewhat unusual here, with most families hanging wash outside, on porches, or in interior rooms. You can get a good drying rack at Carrefour. Some teaching families have chosen to purchase dryers (about $250) here since it can take a while for clothes to dry in the winter. These can be hard to find.

Heat and Hot Water:

Most modern Tunisian houses and apartments have a small gas water heater that is typically mounted about head height on an interior or exterior wall, with a small flue going outside. This unit typically provides both hot water and heat through a series of water radiators. This is "demand" water heating, rather than a tank. The slower you run the hot water, the hotter it will be because it is not speeding by the flames on its way to your faucet. If you are used to pilot lights you'll be fine.

Trash Collection:

Generally, you leave a bag or garbage bag outside your house and it is picked up regularly. This varies greatly by neighborhood, so check with the neighbors. If you don't have a proper garbage can, hang the bag on a branch to prevent the numerous cats from making a mess of it.

Utility and other Bills:

Much/all is in Arabic, so understanding these bills can be tough. The good news is that the school pays these bills. Just bring them to the finance office and they will take care of it.

Telephones:

All teachers houses have a fixed telephone and almost all teachers choose to purchase a cell phone. Upon arrival, the school will assist you with the purchase of cell phones. You must pay all your own phone bills. It is also very easy to open your own cell phone account. Visit any Tunisiana or Tunisie Telecom store and you can have purchase a SIM for your mobile phone.

Internet at Home:

ADSL (high speed) is available. See Computers for more.